While the Guyandotte Valley was being settled with hardy pioneers from Montgomery and the territory which formerly belonged in that ancient county, the Tug Fork of Sandy was being peopled by those who had for awhile paused in their march to the wilderness on the waters of the Clinch and the Holsten. From the time of the building of the old Block House at the forks of Sandy, about the year 1789, frequent visits were made from the cabins on the frontier by daring hunters to their friends in the old fort, but there is no account of any settlement being made on the West Virginia side of the river below the McDowell County line, or even above that line, until the year 1800, when Richard and John Ferrell, sons of Richard Ferrell, who was killed by the Indians in Thompson's Valley in 1780, settled on the farm where M.A. Ferrell now lives.
Richard Ferrell, the youngest brother, married a Miss Romaines, of Russell County, Virginia, and was the father of ten children - six sons and four daughters. His sons were William, who married Mahala Tiller; John R., who married Elizabeth Coleman; Elizah, who married Barbara Jackson; Richard, who married Letitia Eskew; Evans, who married Martha Duty, and Moses, who married Jane Lockhart. His daughters were Rachel, who married William Tiller; Rebecca, who married Green Justice; Elizabeth, who married Joab Justice, and Nancy, who married Cummings Musie [?].
John Ferrell married Nancy Jackson of Russell County, Virginia. He was the father of three sons and two daughters. His sons were William, who moved to Roane County; Andrew, who married Polly Slater, and then moved to Missouri; and John, who married Jane Taylor, and was through a long life, a prominent Baptist preacher, and was greatly beloved by all who knew him. His daughters were Jennie, who married John Murphy, and Levisa, who married Ralph Steel, of Island Creek.
Reuben Thacker made the first settlement at what is now known as Thacker. He came from the James River Valley, remained for a few years, giving to the creek its name, and then moved further west.
Peter Cline, who was of German origin, settled about the year 1802 just below the mouth of Peter Creek on the West Virginia side of the river. It is claimed that he had settled on the Kentucky side, on Peter Creek, some eight years before that time, and that the creek took its name from him, and that he came direct from Montgomery County, Va. Be this as it may, it is well known that he lived and died at a ripe old age on Tug River, and that he was the father of four sons and one daughter, from whom has sprung the Clines and Mounts of the Tug and Guyandotte Valleys. His sons were Michael, who married a Miss Hinkle, of Kentucky; Jacob, who married a Miss Fuller, of Kentucky; William, who married a daughter of Thomas Smith, of Horsepen. This Peter Cline Jr., died on Gilbert's Creek in 1893, aged something over one hundred years. The daughter of Peter Cline, Sr., whose name was Margaret, married David Mounts, a young man who came to the Tug Valley a short time after Clines had settled there. It is not known where he came from, but it is believed from the name that he is a descendant of a Portugese family by the name of Mountz, which settled in South Carolina about 1750, some of whom served under Sumpter in the War of the Revolution. Mounts settled just above Cline, on the river, and was the father of six sons and four daughters. His sons were William, who married Mary Blankenship; Charles who married a daughter of Isaac Spratt; Peter, who married a daughter of William Cline; Michael, who married a daughter of Peter Cline; Jackson, who married a daughter of William Cline, and Alexander, who married a Miss Charles. His daughters were Nancy, who married Asbury Hurley; Patsy, who married John Steel; Elizabeth, who married Alexander Trent, and Sarah, who married Daniel Christian.
As was stated in our last chapter, Francis Browning married a daughter of Abner Vance, of Tazewell. This Abner Vance was hung for killing a man named Horton - a justifiable killing, as was afterwards shown - had four sons and four daughters who came to Logan early in the century and settled on the waters of Tug, and who are the progenitors of the Vance family of this county. Abner Vance, the father spoken of, was a native of North Carolina, and, after serving through the Revolutionary War, settled in Russell County, Va., and married a Miss Howard. His sons spoken of above were James, who married a Miss Miller; John, who married a Miss Rader; Richard, who married a Miss Sutherland; and Abner, who married a Miss Perry. His daughters married respectively, Francis Browning, Jos. Dempsey, James Brown and John McCloud. There was another daughter - Bettie - who was never married but had tw [sic] children of whom John Ferrell was the reputed father. These were Mrs. Ephriam Hatfield and the late James Vance.
Joseph Hatfield, who has already been mentioned as the brother of Valentine Hatfield, and a half-brother of Thomas Smith of Horsepen, settled at what is now Matewan, at about the same time that his brother settled on Horsepen. He married a Miss Evans, of Russell County, and was the father of ten sons and one daughter. His sons were Joseph, William, Ferrell, Ephriam, John, Valentine, Richard Thomas, James, Seth and McGinnis, and the name of his daughter was Phoebe. All of them moved across the river into Kentucky, where Richard and McGinnis are still living, both being olg [old?] and highly respected citizens.
The settlement at the mouth of Spruce, where Lewis Rutherford now lives, was made by Benjamin Sprouse. At just what time he settled there is not known, but he raised a large family of boys and girls, and with Reuben Thacker, a brother-in-law, moved further to the west, selling his place to William Davis, who came from Albermarle County, and claimed to be a first cousin of Thomas Jefferson. Davis married a Mrs. Hensley, of Russell County, who was the mother by her former marriage of four sons and one daughter. Three of the sons - William, Robert and John - and the daughter, whose name is forgotten. There was another son - Daniel - who had been captured by the Indians in 1790, and who remained with the Indians until 1807, when he joined the family and married a daughter of Thomas Davis, of Albermarle County, and niece of the William Davis above mentioned, settled at the mouth of Rockhouse Fork of Pigeon. Of the other Hensley boys, Robert married a daughter of Capt. Henry Farley, and settled at the mouth of Sugar–tree; William married a Miss Brewster, and settled opposite the mouth of Pond, on what is now known as the Lawson farm, and John married a Miss Davis and settled lower down the river. The daughter above mentioned married William Davis, a son of Thomas Davis of Albermarle, and nephew of the William Davis above mentioned, who settled near the mouth of Pigeon. William Davis, Sr., had one daughter by his first wife. William Davis, Sr., married a Miss Runyon, by whom he had two daughters, one of whom married Jess Stratredge and the other Jacob Runyon.
William Davis, Jr., above mentioned, from whom descended all of the Davis' of the Tug Valley, had four sons and two daughters. His sons were George, who married a Miss Dillon; Henry, who married a Miss Stotts, and William and Joseph, who married Miss Dillons. His two daughters married respectively, Daniel Hensley, Jr., and Jas. Bailey. The Dillon girls above mentioned, were the daughters of Christopher Dillon, who settled on the waters of Pigeon at quite an early day, and had a large family of boys and girls from whom sprung the large Dillon family.
Vinson Grant, a mulatto, settled at the mouth of Sycamore. He had a white woman with him by whom he raised a large family. He moved to Ohio about 1820, and settled near Haverhill, Lawrence County.
Moses Parsley, of Russell County, who married a Miss Loving, of the same county, settled at the mouth of the Rockokse [?] Fork of Pigeon. He was the father of five sons and four daughters. His sons were John, who married a Murphy, and settled at the mouth of Upper Burning Creek; William, who married a Miss Chafin, and settled on Lower Burning Creek; Alexander, who married a Miss Smith, and settled near Warfield, Ky.; Jesse, who married a Miss Marcum, and settled at the mouth of Jennie's Creek, and Riburn, who married a Miss Muncey, and settled near the mouth of Jennie's Creek, but becoming involved in the Marcum-Muncey feud he moved to Mississippi, and became a brigadier-general of the Confederate States in the late unpleasantness. His daughters were Sallie, who married William Starr, and Polly, who married William Muncey. The other daughters were never married and their names are not known.
Christopher Chafin who came from Montgomery County, Va., settled near the mouth of the Elk Fork of Pigeon. He married a Miss Roberts and first settled near Burlington, Lawrence County, Ohio, where several of his children were born. He then moved to the Elk Fork of Pigeon, where he lived for many years and then mysteriously disappeared. His sons were Stanley, who died unmarried; William, who married Sarah Deskins; Joshua who married Sarah Collins; Nathan, who married Matilda Varney; Pleasant, who married Nancy White, and Thomas, who married Jennie Horn. His daughters were Bettie, who married Harrison Blair; Alafair, who married ____ Nelson, and Margaret, who married James Copley. John Chafin, who was for a long time clerk of the circuit and county courts of this county, and Francis M. Chafin, who was sheriff of the county, were sons of William Chafin, and John B. Wilkinson, the present prosecuting attorney of the counties of Logan and Mingo, is his grandson.
John Stafford, of Tazewell, settled at the mouth of Lick Creek. Just at what time he settled there or who he married is not known. He had three sons and several daughters. His sons were John, who married a daughter of Isaac Spratt, and settled at the mouth of Gilbert; Compton, who married a daughter of Isaac Brewer, and settled at the mouth of Breeding, and Fleming, who married a daughter of Frank Evans, and went to Mercer County. Of his daughters, Sarah married Andrew Varney, and Phoebe married Smith Trent.
Emile Millard, usually called Miller, a Frenchman, who had served under Lafayette in the Revolutionary War, made the first settlement near the town of Nolan. He settled after the war in what is now Tazewell County, and married Sallie Roark, of Roark's Gap. Sallie had two children by former husbands a the time of her marriage with Millard, both of whom came with Millard to his new settlement. They were John Deskins and Isaac Brewer, who will be spoken of again.
Millard, and his brother Charles, the grandfather of Ben and A.J. Millard, were in the county as early as 1792, at which time Charles was drowned in Johns Creek, Ky., near the mouth of the creek now known as Miller's Creek.
Emile Millard had three children - one son and two daughters. His son, whose name was Timothy, married Polly Boreman; and his daughters were Rachel, who married James Starr, and Rebecca, who married Arter White. This James Starr was one of the prominent men of the Tug Valley, who, after the death of his first wife married Rebecca Hensly, and after her death married a Miss McCoy. He died about ten years ago at the age of 91, after having built the first Methodist Church in the valley, which is of stone and will long remain as a monument to his memory. He had no children.
John Deskins, spoken of above, married a Miss Holt and settled near the Millard place. He was the father of five sons and four daughters. His sons were John, who married a Miss Bevins, of Kentucky; James, who married a Miss Hibbard; Jackson, who married a Miss Lieslie; Nathan, who married a Miss Phillips, and Lewis, who married a Kentucky lady whose name is forgotten. His daughters were Esther, who married Benjamin Williamson; Sarah, who married William Chafin; Bettie, who married Benjamin Maynard, and Nancy, who married Wm. Taylor.
William Farley, a brother of Capt. Henry Farley, of Peach Creek, settled near the mouth of Buffalo. He married a Miss Thompson of Albemarle County, Va., and was the father of four sons and one daughter. His sons were William - known as "Punch Bill" - who married a Miss Allen, of Boone; Thompson, who married a Miss Chapman; Nimrod (Father of the late Senator Farley, of California), married a Miss Slater, and Henry, who married a Miss Starr. Henry was quite a prominent citizen, and represented the county in the Virginia Legislature.
Adam Runyon settled on Pigeon. His sons were Alexander, who married a Miss Starr; Adam, who married a Miss Harris; James, who married a Miss Simpkins; William, who went West, and John, who married a Miss Mead, and [was?] murdered by George Aldredge. He had two daughters, Chrisina and Anna, who were never married.
Joseph Clark, of Culpepper County, settled at what is known as the Floyd place, on the Trace Fork of Pigeon. He married a Miss Briton, of Pittsylvania County, and had six sons and four daughters. His sons were John B., who married Mary McDonald; Thomas K., who married a Miss Clay; Carter T., who married a daughter of Capt. Henry Farley; Joseph M., who went to Tennessee in 1812; Henry who went to Texas, and George, who went to Kentucky. His daughters were Nancy, who married Jonathan B. Bailey of Mercer; Polly, who married James Suthers; Rebecca, who married Jonas McDonald, and Sallie who married Roland Dillon. Of these sons, John B., settled at the mouth of Pigeon, and had one son; Thomas K., had three sons, one of whom (Charles) was a soldier in the Mexican War, and Carter T. had four sons - Henry P., Ira H., Joseph M., and Guy, and from these have sprung the Clarks of the Tug Valley.
Thomas Evans was an early settler in the valley. He married a Miss Closser, and was the father of Richard Evans, who married a Miss Thompson. The names of his other children are not known, but they are the progenitors of a large Evans family.
Alden Williamson was the first person to settle at the mouth of Laurel Fork of Pigeon. He was a descendant of Hugh Williamson, who came from Wales about 1720 and first settled in New Kent County, Va., and then moved with the tide of emigration to Western Pennsylvania. Alden Williamson had three sons - John, who married a Miss Hibbard and moved to Kentucky; Richard, who married a Miss Wiley, daughter of Jennie Wiley, and settled on Twelve Pole, and Benjamin, who married a Miss Porter, and settled near the present site of the town of Williamson. By his marriage with Miss Porter, Ben Williamson had two sons (Benjamin, who married Esther Deskins, and John, who moved to Kentucky), and three daughters, who married respectively Abraham Millard, Joseph Porter and James Taylor. By a second marriage he had two sons - Hammond, who married a Miss Maynard, and Julius who married a Miss Butcher, and who is still living.
Jean Schmidt Baisden was another early settler at the mouth of Laurel. He came with Lafayette to America and served under him during the Revolution. After the war was over he located at Richmond, Va., and then moved to Reeds Island of New River, where he married a Miss Braham, and about the beginning of the present century, settled at the mouth of Laurel. He had three sons and two daughters. His sons were Joseph, who married Lucinda Osborne, Solomon, who married Mary Chafin, and Edward, who married Susan Barnett. His daughters were Polly, who married John Blair, and Frances, who married Thomas Copley.
John Blair, who came from Powells Valley, first settled just above the present site of the town of Williamson, but after marrying Polly, the daughter of Jean Schmidt Baisden, he settled near his father-in-law at the mouth of Laurel, where he died in 1860. His sons were Harrison, who first married a Miss Chafin and then a Miss Johnson, and who was Logan's first Democratic Sheriff after the war; Anderson, who married a Miss McCoy, and Joe, who also married a Miss McCoy. His daughters were Mahulda, who married Anderson Dempsey; Chlorina, who married John McCoy, and Rhoda, who married Moses Parsley.
Josiah Marcum was also an early settler on Laurel. He came from Franklin County, and brought with him eight sons, from whom has sprung the large and influential house of Marcum. These sons were Moses, who first married a Miss Elswick and then a Christina Wiley, daughter of Jennie Wiley; Stephen, who married a Miss Sperry, and was the grandfather of Wm. W., Jno. S., and Lace Marcum, prominent lawyers of West Virginia. J.M. Marcum, the late state senator from Cabell, and Thos. D., and Penbroke Marcum, of Catlettsburg, Ky.; William, who married a Miss Sutherland; John, who married a Miss Copley, and was a Baptist Preacher; James, who married a Miss Chapman, and Jacob and Randall, who married ladies from Franklin County, Va., whose names are not known.
Alexander Sutherland settled at the mouth of Marrowbone, and is spoken of as the first settler in that locality. He had two daughters, one of whom married William Marcum and the other a Wellman.
William Bingham Meade, who married Mildred Esther Davis, came from Virginia about 1790, and settled at the old Vancouver settlement at the block house at the forks of Sandy. In the early part of the present century - about 1801 - he moved with his family to Marrowbone Creek. He had three sons and five daughters. His sons sere Wm. B., Jr., who married Jane Ellen Rutherford; Samuel, who married Isaac Brewer; Margaret, who married Thomas Watts; Frances, who married Theodore Gooding; Anna, who married Perry Burruss, and Keziah, who married John Cline [editor's note - the above doesn't seem correct, and was possibly transcribed incorrectly in 1977]. Wm. B., Jr., had seven boys and four girls. His sons were James, who married a Miss Lowe; Reuben, who married a Miss Rose; John, who married a Miss Dingess; Lewis, who married a Miss Spaulding; Thomas B., who married a Miss Sartin; Wm. B., who married a Miss Brewer and Pyrrhus who married a Miss Messer. The daughters were Mary, who married John Field; Priscilla, who married Hiram Rose; Lydia, who married Silas Damron, and Ellen, who married G.R.C. Floyd, and who was the mother of Hon. J.B. Floyd, Mrs. S.P. Kelly, and several other children.
Isaac Brewer, who married the oldest daughter of W. B. Meade Sr., was of English stock. Among the soldiers who came with Braddock to America, in 1755, were two brothers by the name of Brewer: one of them was was killed at Fort Duquesne, on July 9th, 1755, and the other survived the war and settled in Southwestern Virginia, where he had several sons and daughters. One of these sons, after serving in the Revolution, married Sallie Roark, who afterwards became the wife of Emile Millard. To this former marriage of Sallie Roark was born Isaac Brewer, who came with Millard to the Tug Valley, and after his marriage was born eight sons and three daughters. His sons were Lewis, who married a Miss Marcum; William, who moved to Kanawha; Isaac, who married a Miss Spaulding; Samuel who married a Miss Kirk; Johnson, who married a Miss Clark, Calvin, who married a Miss Messer, James, who married a Miss Newsom; Aaron, who married a Miss Mead, and Anthony, who married a Miss James. His daughters were Eliza, who first married Jacob Marcum and then Compton Stafford; Evaline, who married another Jacob Marcum, and Matilda, who married Moses Ferrell, who was for a long time a member of the County Court of Logan.
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